Ever a right time to say Hitler?

New Premier’s glib remark          4 February 2006

Alan Carpenter said it all as he signed the attendance book at his first meeting as the newly appointed Premier of Western Australia.

“Norm, have you written A. Hitler on here?”

It was a sign of the times. Saying the name of someone whose mention provides sad memories for many people may appear a throwaway line but it would offend some.

Making a joke about recent times and Norm Marlborough being pilloried like Hitler could be deemed off colour.

Forward a week and the forgetting of the past continues. Norm Marlborough is appointed to the Labor Government’s ministry.

The Member for Peel is a long time friend of disgraced and subsequently jailed former Premier Brian Burke and Labor Party heavies were quick to come up with the same answer to media: “That was the 1980s and let’s get on with it.”

Eighties it may have been but a lot of West Australians were dealt a nasty blow during the WA Inc era, headed by Burke. The state’s finances went into a downward spin that took a lot of good Liberal governance under Richard Court to turn around.

Denying Brian Burke is part of your background and part of your current life is like denying the Holocaust.

No amount of spin can change it – it happened.

Premier Carpenter’s unfortunate “Norm, have you written A. Hitler on here” was a glib remark based on recent media coverage. Broad minded commentators would see the humour.

However, there is no mirth to be found in the Member for Peel’s subsequent ministerial appointment. It is a disgrace.

The former Premier Geoff Gallop tried to sever all contact of his ministers with Burke. It was a vasectomy that Alan Carpenter has reversed.

As in most vasectomy reversals, pain is involved.

As in most vasectomy reversals, it has been done to produce new life.

The Baby of WA Inc will be born in the ensuing days of the Carpenter Government and the pain will be felt by all West Australians.

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